cloud outage

Contributor(s): Kim Hefner

A cloud outage is a period of time during which cloud services are unavailable.  

Cloud downtime can be caused by a number of different factors:

  1. Loss of power
  2. Network connectivity issues
  3. A data center going offline for maintenance (scheduled or unscheduled)
  4. Failed backups
  5. Natural disaster
  6. Software bugs
  7. Hacker attack/denial-of-service (DoS) attack
  8. Human error

Companies can protect against cloud outages by taking the following steps:

  1. Assessing the reliability of their cloud provider(s) data center(s).
  2. Replicating mission-critical data across multiple availability zones.
  3. Ensuring that application data is kept in hot standby form in multiple locations.
  4. Using more than one cloud provider so traffic can be diverted to one of the other functioning cloud sites.
  5. Having a plan in place that details what to do when a cloud outage occurs.
  6. Addressing the possibility of cloud outages in service-level agreements (SLAs).

If a cloud outage should occur, the provider should supply customers with status updates on a regular basis and an estimate of when the service will be restored.


This was first published in February 2014

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